Aggressive instinct required


Shakhtar Donetsk’s result in Leipzig last week spooked me.  It precipitated Leipzig sacking their manager, lancing the boil before we get to play them and fortified Shakhtar, the lowest seed we will face, with an invaluable three away points.  The Ukrainians will now expect to finish second in the group.

Although that 1-4 result in Leipzig is better than anything Celtic have achieved on the road in our Champions League endeavours, there is comfort in the match stats.  Shakhtar had five attempts at goal in total, all four that were on target found the net.  Leipzig created three times as many chances and the visitors achieved what they did with 32% possession.  And let’s not forget, a team that finished below us in Scotland last season recorded a 2-4 win in Dortmund earlier this year.

For 50 minutes, the Celtic performance against Real Madrid last midweek was as impressive as I can recall against a genuinely top team.  We have seen Champions League wins against Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United, but never with such attacking confidence.

The squad have the benefit of eight days to prepare and, importantly, Kyogo should be fit.  I also hope we see Liel Abada start.  I disagree with the notion he could have done better with a shot at goal against Real.  It was a low probability chance, with all other options blocked by the covering defender.  His substitution at halftime was the one mistake I chalked up to Ange Postecoglou.

It is going to be a big night for the defence.  Moritz Jenz will be in the team ahead of schedule, but like so many others, he has started the season well and will take the field with confidence.  It will also be an occasion for reinforcements from the bench.  We still fade around the hour mark, fortunately, Ange has plenty in reserve to trouble opponents at this level.

As we touched on yesterday, the first thing the players need to do is develop an aggressive instinct, leave their opponents to be affected by emotions.  Get the result and leave the flag waving until later.

Martin O’Neill Brunch, Dalziel Park Hotel, Motherwell, afternoon of Sat 24 September

The man that changed everything, Martin O’Neill, is coming to Motherwell Saturday 24 September!  The event will be compared by our pal, Phil Agnew.  There will photo opportunities, some cups will be there too.  Donations will go to the Kano Foundation and local charities.

Kick off is 11:45am, for tickets, call Alan on 07970 716422.  Cost, including brunch, is £50.

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  1. Team for tonight…









    JJ, CCV, Jentz, Taylor



    Hatate, McGregor, O’Riley



    Abada, Kyogo, Jota



    Subs to unleash : Maeda, Haksabanovic, GG, Mooy & the big Dane.



    3-1 to the good ghuys.



    Great to be back and having the Celts to look forward to.





  2. Pingback: Aggressive Instinct Required - Celtic News

  3. P67; as Ange has no doubt told the bhoys – they need to be up for this one, be clinical and keep feet on gas.


    I disagree re Liel receiving that great Jota pass – he had time to get closer before shooting but – understandably – he got a bit anxious/optimistic. As for the closer one he tried to side foot/cross – it was a hedged bet slice that never knew what it was when it left his boot. Smashing young player who will mature into a superstar tho.



    I’m happy that Ange has set a gruff standard and as I opined after the RM game, a few fell a little bit short of what he knows they could achieve. I love he disnae GAF about any team or their reputations. He believes we should be up to take on and take any side – or at least not fall away/lose concentration as he suggested that we did.


    Refreshing to see wur leader focussed on reaching a playing pinnacle, not just making up the numbers or keeping the scores respectable (like wee Gio might be thinking about the now).


    Hopefully our bhoys share Ange’s ambition.


    If not, he’ll find replacements who do. Or an environment where they’re in ready supply.


    Just imo yunnerstan.

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    If we can match our last performance we will have a chance of winning the game but we shouldn’t assume that we will just because RM are better than Shakhtar. Need to be sharper in both boxes.


    Come on Celtic – get it done!

  5. Our team will certainly be aggressive. The question is whether we can defend. I’m cautiously optimistic, if such a thing is possible.

  6. The Paddington Bear episode was an interesting for the queen to get involved with, and you have to wonder what subliminal message it was intended to send.







    For those not familiar with the backstory to the character (Paddington, not the queen) and his creator Michael Bond this might be of interest.







    Paddington Bear and the Displaced Child







    By Maria Teresa Hart















    ‘Yet Paddington has become a political symbol in recent years, mostly to represent the not-so-fortunate. In 2009, Bond and his mascot kicked off a campaign to end the “arrest and detention of hundreds of child asylum-seekers in prison-like conditions.” This was a call to action in response to reports that the U.K. Border Agency was arresting and holding up to 2,000 refugee children. Bond, speaking in the voice of Paddington, told the press, “Whenever I hear about children from foreign countries being put into detention centers, I think how lucky I am to be living at 32 Windsor Gardens with such nice people as Mr. and Mrs. Brown.” He went on to say, “Mrs. Bird [the Browns’ housekeeper] says if she had her way, she would set the children free and lock up a few politicians in their place to see how they liked it!”

  7. ERNIE LYNCH on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:31 PM


    “Prior to the RM game what would have been the best side Ange had been up against?”



    Bayer Leverkusen, I think, por cierto

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Some result for Club Bruges last night – 4-0 away to Porto. Of course they don’t hold themselves back by trying to not get too far ahead of Cercle Bruges…..

  9. ‘For 50 minutes, the Celtic performance against Real Madrid last midweek was as impressive as I can recall against a genuinely top team.’







    And then what happened?





    More importantly why did it happen?



    Physical exhaustion?



    Mental exhaustion?



    Something else?

  10. This is not a very good Shaktar team.One fluke result does not make them so.In the Leipzig game,they mounted 9 attacks,yes 9 !!!!.Now if they were a deadly team hitting on the break,they would have scored more than 4 goals in 4 games domestically,against poorer teams.


    I fully expect 3 points tonight or else we have not played wel.l

  11. SOZ on 14TH SEPTEMBER 2022 10:01 AM



    Think your best bet for BT4 will be Rising Tides….Asgard Sports may hav a live link but will need to check closer to kick-off….hope this helps




  12. End of last year, Ange reportedly said this and mibby it shows his philosophy about who our toughest opponent always is…



    “My personal view, and I made it after that game, was that we’re not going to be in a race with them, we’ve got to be in a race with ourselves,” said the 56-year-old.



    There’s an old pop-psych saying that… nobody can out-perform their own self image.



    I hope our starting 11 are true believers tonight.

  13. Damned if he does pay respects with the armband, they want to find a fault anyways.




    James McClean stands apart from his Wigan team-mates during minute of silence ahead of returning to football after the Queen’s death… and shares an image branding him a ‘legend’ for separating himself from the tributes



    James McClean wore a black armband before Wigan’s clash with Huddersfield


    The armband was worn as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen


    He has previously refused to wear a poppy-embroidered shirt for matches


    McClean did, however, stand apart from his team-mates during the silence






    PUBLISHED: 00:58, 14 September 2022 | UPDATED: 08:55, 14 September 2022




    James McClean wore a black armband before Wigan’s Championship clash with Huddersfield – but decided to stand away from his team-mates in an apparent gesture of defiance during the commemorative minute of silence for the Queen.



    There was speculation as to whether the Republic of Ireland international would wear the black armband as he has previously refused to take part in gestures honouring elements of the British empire such as wearing a poppy.



    However, the 33-year-old stood separately from his team-mates as they joined arms during the minute’s silence. He later shared images on his Instagram account of an Irish boxer branding him a ‘legend’ for his stance of separating himself.




    McClean has previously refused to wear a poppy and, in 2020, appeared to imitate a member of the IRA – ‘teaching’ his two young children during lockdown.



    The Republic of Ireland star was born in Derry and raised on the Creggan estate where six of the people killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 came from. He describes himself as a ‘proud Fenian’.



    Wigan Athletic player James McClean stands alone during a minute’s silence for the Queen


    He decided to stand away from his team-mates during commemorative minute of silence



    Minute’s silence is BOOED at Wrexham as several fans…



    Images after Tuesday night’s game, where McClean was given a huge reception by the Wigan fans following a 2-1 away win, appear to show the winger no longer wearing the armband.



    The UK Government said there was no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period following the death of the Queen.



    Instead, they said that the decision was left at the discretion of individual organisations and hinted that they should ‘hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures’ if they decide to go ahead.



    Therefore, Wigan and Huddersfield players wore black armbands during their Championship clash and took part in a minutes silence before the fixture took place on Tuesday evening.





    McClean shared an Instagram post on Monday afternoon to discuss the ongoing speculation.



    He said: ‘Unless you are a nationalist that was born and raised in Derry or anywhere else in the north of Ireland then don’t assume or speak on our behalf unless you can relate ie. Miguel Delaney.’



    On Wednesday morning, he re-posted a message from Irish professional boxer Declan Geraghty calling him a ‘legend’ for separating himself from the gesture towards the Queen.



    McClean has previously refused to wear poppy-embroidered shirts.



    The poppy, which is sold by the British Legion to raise money for those currently serving in the armed forces and their families, is used a symbol to remember those who died in that conflict and others subsequently.




    But McClean refused to wear them on his shirt due to the fact they are used to remember not just the First and Second World War but also other conflict Britain has been involved in.



    He argues that as someone brought up in Derry, a city in Northern Ireland which saw serious conflict over the constitutional status of Northern Ireland during the late 20th century, he cannot wear it.



    If the poppy only commemorated those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars, however, he claims he would happily wear it with pride.



    He previously took to social media to say: ‘I know many people won’t agree with my decision or even attempt to gain an understanding of why I don’t wear a poppy.



    ‘I accept that but I would ask people to be respectful of the choice I have made, just as I’m respectful of people who do choose to wear a poppy.’



    He also wrote a letter addressed to Wigan chairman Dave Whelan saying: ‘I have complete respect for those who fought and died in both World Wars – many I know were Irish-born. I have been told that your own grandfather Paddy Whelan, from Tipperary, was one of those.



    McClean previously refused to wear a poppy-embroidered shirt while playing for Stoke



    ‘I mourn their deaths like every other decent person and if the poppy was a symbol only for the lost souls of World War One and Two I would wear one; I want to make that 100 per cent clear. You must understand this.



    ‘But the poppy is used to remember victims of other conflicts since 1945 and this is where the problem starts for me.



    ‘For people from the North of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different.



    ‘Please understand, Mr Whelan, that when you come from Creggan like myself or the Bogside, Brandywell or the majority of places in Derry, every person still lives in the shadow of one of the darkest days in Ireland’s history – even if, like me, you were born nearly 20 years after the event. It is just a part of who we are, ingrained into us from birth.



    McClean posted his image of himself wearing a black balaclava in front of his children in 2020



    The rest of Stoke’s squad wore poppies to commemorate those who have fallen in conflict



    ‘Mr Whelan, for me to wear a poppy would be as much a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday especially – as I have in the past been accused of disrespecting the victims of WWI and WWII.



    ‘It would be seen as an act of disrespect to those people; to my people.



    ‘I am not a war monger, or anti-British, or a terrorist or any of the accusations levelled at me in the past. I am a peaceful guy, I believe everyone should live side by side, whatever their religious or political beliefs which I respect and ask for people to respect mine in return. Since last year I am a father and I want my daughter to grow up in a peaceful world, like any parent.



    ‘I am very proud of where I come from and I just cannot do something that I believe is wrong. In life, if you’re a man you should stand up for what you believe in.’

  14. I thought we should have made the subs earlier against Real. We tired on 50 mins, not 60.



    By the time we made the subs, the game was gone at 0-2.



    We need to make the subs earlier tonight.



    1-3 Celtic

  15. Ernie,



    The other was the loss of 2 goals on 56 and 60 minutes. Had we scored one of our many chances then the dynamic would have changed in the ground, the home team and the tactics probably.




  16. bournesouprecipe on







    The back two as it’s become, will be under severe pressure tonight and Carl Starfelt with CCV is more solid, and would have been Ange’s first choice. But the game plan focus seems to reiterate the Ange philosophy, redeployed full backs supporting the midfield for more goals, will be the key to our first point(s).



    Hope Kyogo starts, in place of GG who does more from the bench with team mate Maeda.



    Score more than Shaktar CSC

  17. We conceded 2 excellent and one very good goal against the best team in the world. None were the result of obvious defensive mistakes, I doubt we’ll concede like that against the other two.



    A bit of added sharpness with Kyogo starting and hopefully we’ll score first

  18. Totally agree that an aggressive approach is necessary this evening…



    The Scotland NT paid respect to the Ukrainian NT at Hampden and paid the price.



    We are looking at Liel Abada now and seeing a very accomplished player, we forget looking at him a, few seasons ago and saying, the kids definitely got something but is he going to make it?



    For me it was a lack of confidence, Ange has instilled in him a belief and he has being playing out of his skin.



    Yet what we seen against Real Madrid was an element of the nervous kid coming back, he fluffed his lines, sure, it wasn’t an easy chance and it was against a World class keeper but he has been gallus and made keepers work very hard to keep his shots out.



    This was not the case for Courtois who has the easiests of saves, Liel struggled with his game thereafter. I’m sure Ange was always intending to swap Meada for Abada anyways, so the effects of taking him off a little earlier would have been calculated.



    Before the game I felt it was a 50/50 call who to start with, Meada might have been the correct shout. A pal I was watching the match with said before the kick off, he’d start with Meada as Abada was much better coming off the bench!?



    Difficult but I’d start with Meada today.



    Good we don’t have any serious injury concerns as Ange says, if we want the three points we need a 90 minute plus performance.






    Hail Hail

  19. Real Madrid scored their outstanding third goal after we’d made four substitutions. It was the opposite of a counter attack, they played 30 odd passes in our half, we were pressing hard, nobody looked tired.



    We’d missed the game’s best chance a couple of minutes before they scored their first, tiredness didn’t seem to be playing a part then, abd their goal took ten seconds from the edge of their box to the back of the goal.



    Forget last week, it was a one-off that we should look to take the positives from



    We went into the game thinking about the bigger names and Vinicius Jr, at the end the most effective player was probably Valverde. The Spanish media is reporting that Liverpool made an £80m bid for him to replace Mane.

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